The re-election of Scott Morrison is a disaster.
It is a disaster for Tamil refugees Priya and Nades and their two small children, who now face almost certain deportation. It is a disaster for newly arrived migrants struggling to find work, who will face greater poverty as their income support is cut. It is a disaster for students, who can expect $2.3 billion to be slashed from university funding. It is a disaster for workers, who will be up against a government with a renewed mandate to attack.
It is a disaster for the environment, as we move three years closer to the climate tipping point with an environment minister who questions climate science and idolises the coal industry. It is a disaster for people all around the world, as the Adani coal mine has received a ringing endorsement just as stopping it becomes more urgent.
For the wealthy, on the other hand, it is pay day. You could almost see the dollar signs in their eyes as they gazed lovingly at Morrison on election night. Three more years of corporate handouts, privatisation and generous tax cuts.
And that’s just unfinished business from the last term. This will be a government emboldened. One that has had vindicated its model of government as a racket to unapologetically channel money to the wealthy while the poor face ever more punitive treatment. A cabal of sadists headed by an unfeeling bureaucrat who describes the genocide of Aboriginal people as “a few mistakes and things that you could have done better” and who has presided over concentration camps in which children are driven to suicide and who gives himself a trophy for it. A person for whom anti-homophobic bullying programs make his “skin curl” and who couldn’t even stand being present in parliament for the marriage equality vote.
This will be a government that obfuscates its agenda by pointing the finger at immigrants and Muslims, and which drums up support for ever more draconian attacks on civil liberties. Its victory will do nothing to check the momentum of the far right, as the appalling racist consensus in mainstream politics continues to deliver them a constituency from which to recruit.
How much the new Morrison government can achieve given the composition of the Senate remains to be seen. But with the crossbench dominated by the far right and other less controversial conservatives, there is little reason to expect human decency to get a hearing in Canberra.
If we are to stymie this government, we must be prepared to fight. It will be up to us to build a spirit of resistance in every workplace, school and university, to muster our side against the Murdoch press, big business and all others encouraged by Labor’s disastrous loss.